This study compared the effectiveness of hypnobehavioral therapy (HypBe) and HypBe enhanced by elements of energetic psychotherapy (hypnoenergetic therapy, HypEn) for obese women. Sixty clients were randomized to either HypBe or HypEn. Body weight, BMI, eating behavior, and body concept were assessed at baseline, posttreatment, and at a follow-up. Mixed ANOVA models and effect sizes were used for statistics. Both treatments improved weight, BMI, eating behavior, and some aspects of body concept. Improvements in eating behavior and body concept were higher for those who also lost weight (responders). Weight and BMI reductions were not significantly different for the HypEn versus HypBe groups at follow-up.
Hypnosis has long been recognized as an effective tool for producing behavioral change in the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. Despite many studies from the latter half of the last century suggesting that hypnosis might also be of value in managing obesity situations, the efficacy of hypnotherapy for weight reduction has received surprisingly little formal research attention since 2000. This review presents a brief history of early clinical studies using hypnosis for weight reduction and describes a hypnotherapeutic approach within which a combination of instructional/pedagogic and exploratory therapeutic sessions can work together synergistically to maximize the potential for sustained weight loss. Hypnotic modulation of appetite- and satiation-associated peptides and hormone levels may yield additional physiological benefits in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.